Laker Girls Off & Dancin’ at Auditions

On Saturday morning at 9 a.m. sharp, roughly 500 hopeful young ladies assembled at the Lakers practice facility for a day full of nerves and of course, dancing.

We caught up with Laker Girls Kelsey and Lindsay from the 2011-12 team to get an idea what to expect from the auditions:

Q: On coming back to auditions as a Laker Girls veteran:
Lindsay: In your first year, you have nothing to lose. You’re just so excited, wondering if you’ll make it and anticipating that it could be the most joyful thing you’ve experienced in dance. But coming back the following year, you know what you could lose, so there’s a real fire that’s driving all of us returners.
Kelsey: I completely agree with Lindsay. I think I’m coming back a little more confident knowing what to expect at the actual audition, but I’m that much more nervous because I want it that much more.

Q: On learning what to expect from the previous season’s audition process:
Lindsay: I feel like everyone who tries out has to be humble, and even if you think you’re the greatest dancer in the world you have to come into this organization very much respectful of the process and the opportunity. There’s a difference between confidence and cockiness, a fine line that you have to keep in mind in front of the judges.
Kelsey: This is definitely humbling as we watch the (new prospective dancers) do the “Across the Floor*” segment. There are so many incredible dancers that have come here trying to be a part of the team. It makes me grateful for what I had last season. If there’s anything that might help those of us returning it’s that we had a year to work within the Laker Girls style, which is very sharp, very crisp and very energetic. Having practiced that for a year does make me feel a bit more ready, but at the same time, there are a lot of girls here that are all bringing it.
*This is the segment where all of the new prospective Laker Girls run across the floor doing a basic routine taught quickly by Director Lisa Estrada’s assistants in groups of three. When the girls get to the end, they’re either given a wristband that means they’ve made it to the next round, or not, meaning they’re thanked for coming and cut. Returning Laker Girls do not have to go through this segment.

Q: On what to expect during the long day:
Lindsay: After the Across the Floor segment, we learn a dance combination for about 20 minutes, and then perform it. If you survive that cut, you make it to another round of choreography. And so on…
Kelsey: Right, and you try to pick that choreography up as soon you can, then try to get the style down and all the corrections you can have for yourself. Then you give it your all, with your energy, personality and everything else they might be looking for.

Q: On waiting to hear one’s number get called after a routine:
Lindsay: I think I just held my breath last year, every time. Then if you hear your number, it’s just this huge exhale. It’s crazy.
Kelsey: My heart beats very, very hard. And meanwhile you’re rooting for your friends to make it as well. We’re very excited!